Review: ERNIE BISCUIT Is Deliciously Good
He has a funny name. He's got a disability. He is terribly lonely... He is Ernie Biscuit, a deaf Parisian taxidermist. If you are thinking to yourself that his story couldn't be too interesting, you are mistaken. Great storytellers can bring the most unusual characters to life, put him or her in the most unexpected situations and create the most unforgettable stories. And Adam Elliot, director of the short film about Biscuit, is an amazing storyteller.
After making his first short film trilogy (Uncle, Cousin and Brother), Elliot won an Academy Award for Harvie Krumpet, his 2003 short film about a man with Tourette's Syndrome. He followed that up with his only feature film to date, Mary And Max, which is about an unlikely friendship between two very different pen pals. That film became a beloved animated film (and if you have not seen it yet, I strongly recommend that you do so). Ernie Biscuit, his first film since the release of Mary And Max in 2009, therefore comes with high expectations.
Luckily, it does not disappoint. Elliott, who has "written, directed, animated, produced, edited and constructed" Ernie Biscuit, has made a film that has a well-deserved place in his already impressive filmography. Following an upbeat and enjoyable opening scene, the movie moves along at a leisurely pace as viewers learn of how Ernie became deaf, the origin of his name and also his love stories.
Watching this film is a most pleasant way to spend 20 minutes of your time. It has a wry sense of humor that is distinctly Australian. Being in black and white suits the film's story, and the music complements the visuals perfectly. The narration by 81-year old actor John Flaus, who also offered his distinctive voice in Harvie Krumpet and Mary And Max, is absolutely wonderful. My only complaint is that the film is too short and I certainly wish I could see more of Mr Biscuit's adventures.
There is a part in Ernie Biscuit that says that taxidermy is out of fashion in these modern times and therefore the taxidermist has to be resourceful. I wonder if that is a reflection of how Elliot feels about stop motion animation in this age of computer and 3D animation. If so, I really don't think he needs to worry, because his unique style of animation (which he calls 'Clayography') is here to stay and people will no doubt continue to cherish the special charms and beauty of stop motion animation.
- Adam Elliot
- Adam Elliot